sabato 4 agosto 2001

L' uomo che sussura ai "tiburones "

Sergio e Maurilio

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We want to thank the people of WAIHUKA ADVENTURE DIVING CENTER, special treatment provided by Sergio Tritto, owner of this great dive operation!!!!!


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Located on the south shore of the tropical paradise island of Roatan, in the Bay Islands of Honduras, Waihuka Adventure Divers specializes in encounter dives with Caribbean Reef Sharks.


Your hosts Maurillio and Sergio Tritto welcome you to experience the beauty and wonder of diving with sharks here in Roatan. Founded 8 years ago by Maurillio and Sergio, Waihuka Diving Adventures offers you the opportunity to see Caribbean Reef Sharks up close and personal.

Sergio Tritto - Owner/Operator

Sergio began diving over 30 years ago (occasionally he surfaces for a bit of sunshine) in his home of Italy. His adventures have taken him all around the world respectfully enjoying the company of sharks. To date Sergio has been diving with; Silvertip (his favorite), hammerheads, bull, tiger, silky, whale, Caribbean Reef, oceanic white tip, black tip, thresher and white tip reef sharks. Sergio is still active as one of the dive leaders.


Sergio Tritto,faccia a faccia con i tiburones ( pescecani)
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Sharks by Travis Marshal photo by Tanya G.Burnet.

Cara a Cara means face-to-face. And this shark feed dive with Waihuka Diving Adventures delivers just that, letting divers get up close and personal, and even swim the reefs, with a pack of gray reef sharks

All that evening I bounced around the sleepy resort with enthusiasm because the next morning I planned to get up bright and early to navigate Roatan's primary pockmarked road to the Las Palmas Resort where, tucked down a rutted dirt track, Waihuka Diving Adventures has a dockside location for launching its singular dive: Cara a Cara. It means face-to-face, and that's what I got when co-owner Sergio Tritto pulled up to his daily dive site. From the side of the boat we could see the superstars finning in on the spot, the boat's motor eliciting their primal Pavlovian response. But this shark dive was a little different than others out there.

We started out normally enough, sitting in the sand in about 70 feet of water, with Sergio shepherding a closed but perforated 5-gallon bucket-o-fish. But once all the divers made it to the bottom, he hoisted the bucket and took off down the reef. We swam together, a pack of humans and a school of gray reef sharks.
They were only there for the food and didn't give a damn about me, but swimming side by side with them still made for quite an experience. After 20 minutes or so, we made our way back to our starting point, and Sergio ushered us to the edge of the sand patch. He moved front and center and cracked open the bucket. The sharks knew the score and made a mad dash for the trough, diving in up to their dorsal fins and shaking the bucket like a bull goring a matador. There were only a few pounds of fish, and shared among about 15 sharks, the wad was blown in a matter of seconds. But there was no post-climax depression. As the sharks thinned out, the divers rushed for the sand to search for lost teeth, and once I found one, I backed off and made pleasantries with a Nassau grouper who was so docile he turned onto his side so I could scratch his belly.
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"Open Waters”
Al alejarnos de la costa en la embarcación, recibimos litros de agua salada en la cara. El océano estaba violento, la lancha se elevaba al vacío y caía con fuerza.
Sergio Tritto dirigía la lancha a puro pulso, Werner Mena bromeó que el GPS (Global Position Sistem) el italiano lo llevaba instalado en la cabeza, Tritto ya llevaba los guantes de acero puestos (él abre la cubeta con pescado para alimentar los tiburones). Llegamos a una pequeña bola negra del tamaño de una cabeza humana en medio del océano, y allí se tiró el ancla. El experto buzo se guió únicamente viendo la costa que dejaba atrás.
Al detenerse la enorme lancha, luego de recorrer 3 millas y media (unos 6 kilómetros), todos comenzamos a colocarnos el equipo, mientras chocábamos unos con otros. La embarcación parecía un animal desbocado, subía y caía sin cesar.
Cada buzo se tiraba de espaldas al mar y rápidamente tenía que buscar y sujetarse de una gruesa soga amarilla que lo llevaba hasta el ancla.
Al hundirme al fin en las violentas aguas, me di cuenta que bajar por la soga no sería tan fácil. La lancha parecía que quería irse de ahí volando y las olas caían sobre uno como sacos de harina. Bajar fue desgastante, pues había que hacer bastante fuerza para lograrlo, inclusive la boquilla del respirador se salió un par de veces de mi boca y me tocó saborear el agua salada del Atlántico a varios metros de profundidad.
Eso no me hubiera molestado, si no hubiera vomitado antes de lanzarme a esas honduras marinas. A pocos metros del ancla, el grupo comenzó a desgranarse de la soga a un punto estratégico del arrecife y comencé a observar a los tiburones pasar por debajo de mis pies, Tritto llegó para hundirme hasta el suelo.
Luego él y Javier Mena me señalaron el lugar donde debería quedarme sentado y en ese momento dos ejemplares pasaron como torpedos a buscar el botín dentro de la cubeta que se usó para atraerlos.
A lo lejos, veía decenas de tiburones nadando alrededor de los buzos. Estos permanecían pacíficamente flotando a centímetros del arrecife. En el momento en que Tritto quita la tapadera de la cubeta con pescado sangrante, los tiburones viven un momento de agitación. Por lo general, las primeras en llegar son las hembras, ya que los machos son más nerviosos y son los últimos en llegar al banquete. En algunas ocasiones, Tritto lanzó el pescado para que apreciáramos la belleza de la mordida de un tiburón.
Intenté nadar con fuerza para mantenerme cerca del grupo, pero fui arrastrado por la corriente y de repente el único ser vivo que tuve a la par era un tiburón.
Al salir a la superficie no vi la embarcación y esperé hasta que lo visualicé. De tanto esperar el bote, los buzos se soltaron y en vez de preocuparse, se relajaron y gozaron de flotar sobre el inmenso mar azul.
En Honduras, un buzo italiano se dedica a conducir a otros osados hacia encuentros cercanos con tiburones que llegan a medir hasta 3 metros de largo. Aquí, el relato de la apasionante aventura de bucear junto a estos peces de mala fama.
Sergio Tritto, italiano de 45 años, dejó la abogacía por nadar entre tiburones. Para algunos, la adrenalina a veces no es suficiente. Y él se dedica ahora a llevar buzos que buscan extremar las emociones nadando entre predadores de mala fama.
En la mayor de las islas de la bahía de Honduras, Tritto y sus clientes interactúan con el animal acuático más temido, como si se tratara de cándidos delfines.
A 30 millas de la costa hondureña, la isla de Roatán es la base desde la que parten las excursiones de buceo, muy buscadas por lo económico y variado de sus posibilidades, entre las que se cuenta la visita al segundo arrecife más grande del mundo. También parten las inmersiones que se dirigen a Cara a Cara, el punto de encuentro de Tritto con sus socios submarinos.
No es el típico buzo. Tritto llegó al Caribe hace siete años, tras dejar atrás toda una vida trajinando los tribunales italianos con pilas de legajos bajo el brazo. Buceaba desde los 14 años, pero fue el sabor de hacerlo con tiburones alrededor del planeta lo que lo llevó a tomar la determinación de darle un viraje drástico a su existencia: cambiar de profesión. Pero no es un improvisado. En 1986 fue instructor de la Federación Italiana de Buceo y desde 1990 tiene certificación de PADI, la asociación profesional de instructores de buceo.
Actualmente lleva buzos para tener encuentros cercanos con los escualos. Los provee de herramientas para realizar esta experiencia, una serie de procedimientos y medidas de seguridad sencillas pero importantes. El descenso a 22 metros de profundidad se realiza sujeto a una cuerda que une el barco de buceo con el fondo de una pared de coral de más de dos metros, que protege de las fuertes corrientes durante el tiempo en el que el buzo interactúa como le salga con más de 30 tiburones de entre 2 y 3 metros de largo. Los animales llegan atraídos por un balde con pescado que Sergio lleva para la ocasión. Como para que ninguno esté con hambre.
El buceó por primera vez junto a tiburones en 1986, en la isla Brothers, del mar Rojo. La noche anterior no había podido pegar un ojo, por la mezcla de nervios y ansiedad. “Sé exactamente lo que la gente siente cuando está por debutar –asegura, y recuerda su propia experiencia–. Llegamos a un punto de mucha corriente y olas. Los delfines, que escuchaban el ruido de los motores de la lancha, brincaban a nuestro lado. Al ser un lugar muy movido, la guía me dijo que me tirara y bajara lo más rápido posible porque si no la ola me tiraría encima del arrecife. Apenas bajé, recuerdo cómo un tiburón martillo muy grande me pasó por arriba. Es una imagen que todavía tengo grabada. Más tarde llegaron otros. Era un lugar con muchas especies: tiburón gris, tiburón zorro, y varias especies en el mar abierto, a unas 80 millas de la costa.
Así comenzó su carrera en la búsqueda de lugares donde bucear con tiburones: Sudán, Egipto, Maldivas, la isla del Coco en Costa Rica, las Bahamas o la Florida, donde se bucea en barcos hundidos a una profundidad de 35 a 40 metros y siempre se ven ejemplares del agresivo tiburón toro.
Al principio, su idea no era trabajar con ellos. Decidió instalarse en Roatán, tentado por los tiburones. Salía con un amigo a buscarlos, atrayéndolos con presas pescadas para ellos. Bajaban dos veces por semana, desde el mismo lugar, y luego de unos meses lograron cierta familiaridad con cinco ejemplares. “Tardamos un mes en acostumbrar a los tiburones a nuestra presencia y más de un año en acostumbrarlos a nadar junto a ellos”, asegura.
No son, igualmente, tiernas mascotas. Un día buceaba Sergio con un camarógrafo, y comenzó a alimentar a los tiburones, como es su costumbre. Los comensales se habían retirado ya, excepto dos, algo inquietos. Uno de ellos, no contento con su ración, lo atacó. Primero apuntó a la cámara de filmación y luego se le acercó a Sergio por detrás y le mordió la cabeza. Lo soltó al sentir que no era más que piel y hueso. Pasados seis meses de la cicatrización las dos heridas, Sergio comenzó a sentir algo duro en una de ellas: era un pedazo de diente del tiburón que más tarde abrió la herida nuevamente para salir.
Pero existen también historias de amor entre hombres y tiburones. Sergio identifica a María, “el animal más grande, inteligente y curioso de todos”, según su definición de enamorado. Sergio se pone por debajo de María y la acaricia con sus manos. María siempre se deja tocar un poco más. “Es como si buscara el contacto conmigo”, dice Sergio, que reserva estos momentos de intimidad sólo para ella.
Una vez, la estaba alimentando cuando llegó un malón y lo cercó, esperando su porción. En un abrir y cerrar de ojos se dio cuenta de que no se veía más las manos. María tenía su cabeza pegada al pecho de Sergio, y guardaba las dos manos del buzo dentro de su boca. Sergio comenta que no sintió mucho y que el animal suavemente le soltó las manos y se retiró. De todos modos él llevaba, como es habitual, sus guantes de malla de acero.
“Es como darle de comer a varios perros hambrientos: sería muy difícil, si uno mete la mano en el medio, no ser mordido por alguno”, los disculpa su domador. Para él, cada tiburón es diferente, y distingue su carácter. Los más chicos son los más nerviosos y por lo general los más grandes son más inteligentes y tranquilos. “Nunca observé que un tiburón de este tipo estuviera interesado en un buzo. Lo único que los pone un poco nerviosos o más tensos es el olor a la sangre del pescado con que los alimento”, apunta, y recomienda: “No mover las manos, ponerlas cruzadas o detrás de uno. Los tiburones detectan muy bien las vibraciones en el agua y sienten curiososidad por todo lo que se mueve de una manera rápida y desordenada. Si se está nadando en una costa y se descubre que un tiburón anda cerca, hay que volver nadando lentamente. Ellos tienen una capacidad enorme para detectar cuando un animal tiene miedo y está en problemas”. Por Ivan Pisarenko Foto: Iván Pisarenko revista@lanacion.com.ar
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Taking Pangas by Thomas Tomczyk
Fiscalia seizes hulls that 'lack proper documentation'

At the time of VOICE going to print Notton and her business partner Patrik Zigg were in La Ceiba attempting to at least retrieve the boat's engine.
Two weeks before, on February 8, 11 confiscated hulls, three of them with engines, were towed away to La Ceiba Harbour. Within the next three days the fiscalia confiscated another three. "We have a list of 30," said Campos, who is looking for boats in Utila, Guanaja and La Mosquitia as well.
On February 9, fiscales acted in 'repo men' style and took one of "Diving with Sharks" boats from the dive shop dock in Las Palmas and leaving no documents, explaining, or announcing their actions. "I am so angry. We first thought that the boat was stolen," says Sergio Tritto, one of the diveshop's owners.
More and more people are worried their boat could be confiscated next. Fantasy Island, Native Sons and Pura Vida all have slim Edwardoño hulls, powerful motors and use them for their dive operations.
Alvin Jackson, owner of West End dive shop Native Sons, is worried. Two of three boats were made on Roatan from a Edwardoño mold. "I like the proportions of the boat. It is economical on fuel, handles well in waves and is strong," said Jackson. Ever since November the fiscalia took photographs of one of his boats and Jackson began being concerned that his boats could be next to be confiscated.
Darcy Martinez and Linton in Las Palmas, are two Roatan boat builders who have made molds of the Edwardoño hull that allows them to build their own boats similar to that of the Colombian boat maker. "My boats are different than the Edwardoño. We don't put as much reinforciment in them," says Martinez, who files documents and seals them with the port captain for each vessel he makes. "Some people asked me to give papers that I built some of these [Edwardoño] boats, but I could never do that," says Martinez.
One problem with following registration procedure with the found Edwardoño boats, is that the vessels don't have anything identifying them, individual numbers. If they did, the drug traffickers made sure they were removed, to make the tracking of their purchasers impossible.
Between 2002-2005 there were several boats, Edwardoño pangas, in Santos Guardiola Municipal that were accepted from the Preventiva and frontier police as payment for the financial support that Municipal has given to the police. Even though a Roatan judge has approved some of these sales, a Tegucigalpa and AOBI (Ceased Goods Office) never had a chance to go through an auction process and receive payment for them. As far as the fiscalia is concerned, these boats don't have a proper owner. Now many people that paid Municipal money for the pangas, just had to abandon them, since they had no 'proper' papers to prove their ownership.
"If they had a problem, why couldn't they [fiscalia] have a grace period like with gun registrations? If you have a paperwork problem, you would have two months to pay fines and register you boat properly," asks Sergio Tritto.
It is a good question.
What is concerning and surprising is that not a single person whose Edwardoño boat was confiscated by the fiscal has properly registered the boat. According to Campos either the owners did not know how to follow the procedure, or just didn't want to. "We found boats hidden in mangroves, being repainted in peoples' yards," said Campos.
These fiberglass pangas are a boat of choice for Columbian drug runners, who routinely transport around 1,000 kilos of cocaine in its watertight compartments, then transfer it to land, to continue their journey up north. The abandoned hulls of the pangas dot the mangroves of the east side of Roatan.
The Honduran government never got paid for the boats. Still, the question remains if the government should get paid for any boat that is salvaged at all? They don't have to if a proper procedure is followed.

On the heels of the December TTI equipment seizures, the government has begun another, much wider confiscation operation. Every business and individual with hulls similar to Eduardono is a potential target of fiscalia confiscations. Several dive shops and many individuals boats were confiscated without giving their owners a chance to prove the origin of the boat, pay fines, or straighten out the boat's paperwork. The confiscations continue and members of the local dive community are concerned. Businesses are disrupted and could potentially go out of business. Who will be next?
On January 29, fiscales waited for Subway Watersport's boat at the Barefoot Cay landing. According to Gillian Notton, co owner of Subway Watersports, the officials refused to show any papers, even when asked and pointed to their holstered guns. "If they would have spoken to me civilly it would be hard, but I would live with [the seizure of the boat] it," says Notton. Isai Campos Rodriguez, director of Bay Islands fiscales who is in charge of the seizures, says that the officials presented documents and followed proper procedure.
Subway's two dive shop clients were asked to step off and the fiscales drove the boat to the impound in Coxen Hole. "This is an easy way for them to show to the US that they are combating drug running," said Notton. Subway Watersports operates from three locations with four boats and ccording to Notton, it will likely have to close its most popular Barefoot Cay facility.
According to Campos, the fiscalia is focusing its seizures on Edwardoño made boats, a Columbian manufacturer of boat hulls and a preferred boat used by drug traffickers that transit through Honduran waters. According to Campos, the Edwardoño boats began to appear in the Bay Islands in 1999, but only now the government has the resources to recover the boats and funds owed. According to Campos all seized boats were found abandoned by drug traffickers and never properly registered.
Subway Watersports purchased the panga's bare hull in 2003 from Olson, an Oak Ridge Islander in Oak Ridge who salvaged the boat. An Oak Ridge judge signed the paper and the boat, christened 'Voyager' was registered with the Roatan Port Captain. For the Bay Islands fiscal that just wasn't enough. "The simple buy-sell document to transfer the ownership of this boat is not enough," said Campos. "If they prove ownership of engines and other equipment it will be returned to them."
Subway Watersports has a lot at stake. The dive shop invested in reshaping the interior of the boat to fit its dive operation, fit it with two 200 HP Mercury Engines, built an aluminum bimini top, and added an anchor. The boat's value is now around $50,000. "There will be an auction of the boats in La Ceiba in May and the owners will have a preferential buy rights," said Campos.
Not all boats had a chance to be auctioned off. On February 23, Subway Watersport's 'Voyager' was donated to Cayos Cochinos foundation by the fiscalia.


www BayIslandsVOICE.com
Già dall’Italia ci eravamo documentati per fare l’immersione con gli squali grigi dei Caraibi, quindi una volta in loco abbiamo contattato il Waihuka Adventure Diving Centre, per programmare la nostra immersione “faccia a faccia”.
Maurilio Mirabella, un istruttore napoletano trasferitosi a Roatan da parecchi anni, durante una battuta di pesca subacquea ha trovato questo punto di immersione, dove ha incontrato parecchi squali ed ha notato che erano attratti dall’odore del pesce appeso alla sua cintura. Quindi è tornato parecchie volte a fare immersioni ed ha per così dire “abituato” gli squali alla presenza sua e dei sub e al rito dello “shark feeding”.
Si tratta di un’immersione nel blu, lungo una cima sistemata tra due boe per la forte corrente, che parte dalla barca e scende ad un fondale di circa 20 mt.
Giunti sul fondo ci si sistema con le spalle protette dalla parete, in piedi o in ginocchio e si assiste allo spettacolo.
Gli squali arrivano pian piano, ne ho contati 14 ma l’istruttore dice che ce n’erano 18, alcuni sono lunghi anche 3 metri e mezzo, cominciano a nuotare in tondo e si ha la possibilità di fare delle bellissime fotografie, oltre che di vedere tutti gli altri pesci che assistono allo spettacolo.
Quindi, ci si stacca dalla parete e si pinneggia sulla barriera tra madrepore e gorgonie, senza fare movimenti bruschi delle braccia e delle gambe che attirerebbero la curiosità degli squali.
E’ stato bellissimo restare sospesi sul reef, pinneggiando controcorrente per rimanere fermi, con gli squali che ci giravano intorno, senza dar segni di aggressività o nervosismo, sfiorandoci mentre cernie giganti ed altri pesci altrettanto curiosi li seguivano.
Dopo una quindicina di minuti l’istruttore depone sul fondale ad alcuni metri da noi il suo bidone con circa 5 kg di pesce lavato e senza sangue e gli squali cominciano a girare freneticamente intorno al bidone quasi avvertissero già quale ne sia il contenuto, quindi tirando una sagola viene tolto il coperchio e gli squali (o meglio, il più veloce) si avventano con tutto il muso nel bidone ed in un boccone mangiano il pesce.
Non appena si sono calmati, poco alla volta spariscono nel blu, quindi si fa ancora un giro sulla barriera e si risale lungo la cima fino alla barca di appoggio.
In realtà questa esperienza non è il classico “shark feeding” che viene proposto in diverse località con squali toro o squali tigre, ben più pericolosi, dove i sub sono all’interno di una gabbia ed osservano gli squali che si cibano dalle mani dell’istruttore. Al contrario qui tutto avviene in liberà, senza gabbie o protezioni; in realtà il pesce dato agli squali grigi è minimo, non serve assolutamente a sfamarli, ma si tratta solo di un “contentino” in quanto dopo anni gli squali si sono abituati a questo rito che viene fatto tutti i giorni, due volte al giorno, dal circa cinque anni a questa parte. e l’esperienza è veramente emozionante.
Naturalmente un esperto foto-sub del centro diving che partecipa all’immersione vi potrà fornire il DVD della vostra esperienza da mostrare con orgoglio agli amici fifoni!



SE VOLETE VEDERE ALTRI VIDEO DI SHARKS E SUB...CLICCATE SUL LINK:
http://www.video.scubadata.com/index.php?l=IT&tag=Shark+waihuka&PHPSESSID=19b612cb843d8798509668b2d8f17f42
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2 commenti:

anna ha detto...

ciao sergio...
ho lottato anche stavolta per cercarti...
stavolta ho lottato con internet..e sono riuscita a scovarti ancora un volta...
sono anna di mantova...
una carissima amica di quel sergio tritto in giacca e cravatta tra un tribunale e l'atro...
ciao a presto..
p.s. sono contenta che il tuo sogno si sia realizzato..
rispondimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii..........

Flavio ha detto...

Ciao
sono un giornalista italiano e sto cercando di contattare Sergio Tritto per un intervista. se avete un suo contatto potreste per piacere aiutarmi.
grazie